Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Runs Like A Dream, So Maybe I Am

For those who haven't heard the news (since I've posted it on my facebook, my deviantArt, my twitter, and my tumblr), I was selected to test out the Chrome laptop, CR-48.

The keys feel great under my fingertips, aside from the one downfall that I always have with laptops: I tend to drag my thumbs as I type, so all too often, I'll accidentally move the cursor mid-word and change where I'm typing. The laptop feels very unassuming and unpretentious too: the keys are all labelled in lowercase, making me feel more personal using them. I imagine there are keyboards out there that appear in lowercase, but with all my IBM-standard machines, I never see them.

Of course, this isn't an IBM-standard machine. No Windows or Mac OS on this baby, just pure, unadulterated Google Chrome.

I think I can hear a soft fan running inside, or maybe that's just the sound of those electrons doing the hard work while I revel in this paradise. The netbook (it seems out of place to call it a laptop) is heavier than I expected, but I have no issues with weight. My phone isn't the lightest one on the shelf either, and never has been. I tend to equate weight with durability, even as much as I recognize the misconception in that belief.

The keyboard is interesting, different from the standard keyboard except in the ways that would baffle me. No consecutively numbered function keys, just imagery-labelled buttons that are self-describing: back, forward, reload, full-screen, next tab, dimmer, brighter, mute, volume down, volume up, and power. To the far left of them is the escape key.

The rest of the keyboard is largely unchanged, minus the Windows button (for obvious reasons) and Caps Lock. Really, there's no caps lock. Well, actually, there is, but you have to go into Settings and reassign that function to the key that's sitting there. The default function is Search.

I already established the touchpad mouse, but it has no buttons associated with it. After I signed in, a quick and painless tutorial showed me how to use this touchpad. Normal mousing is normal (and obvious sentence is obvious), and left-button clicking is still performed by tapping the touchpad with a single fingertip. Tap it with two, however, and that's a right-click. Dragging two fingertips across it allows for scrolling.

As I've found with my Android device, Google-based operating systems are very intuitive for me to use, and I see no reason why this should be any exception. I just hope you all don't mind as I bring you along for the ride.

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